Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now a total of 545,476 cases of coronavirus in South Africa.
This is an increase of 7,292 cases from the 538,184 infections reported previously.
The data shows that there are 305 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total to 9,909 casualties, following 306 deaths reported on Thursday.
Dr Mkhize pointed to 394,759 recoveries to date.
A total of 3.18 million tests have been conducted, with 33,851 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, the minister said.
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) August 7, 2020
Since 31 December 2019 and as of 7 August 2020, approximately 19.3 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including around 718,000 deaths.
The data pointed to approximately 12.4 million recoveries to date.
Uber generated more revenue from delivering food than transporting people for the first time last quarter. Food delivery has become a central part of that strategy, even more so after the $2.65 billion deal to buy Postmates Inc, Bloomberg said.
Still, it failed to offset a steep and prolonged decline in ridership brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, mirroring the overall contraction of the travel industry.
‘We are treating other diseases’
Dr Mkhize has encouraged the public to continue to make use of public health facilities for Covid-19 and other ailments and conditions.
Mkhize said while the spotlight is on Covid-19, communities must continue to get access to treatment for other ailments.
“We have noticed since there were reports of excess deaths, we are concerned that the further away people are from large centres and hospitals they tend to be reluctant to move quickly if they think they have mild flu symptoms and yet these can be devastating to those who are senior citizens and have comorbidities.
“We also want to encourage those who have other conditions to continue to use our hospitals. When we say we want to give focus to Covid-19 we are not saying we are not treating other diseases; they are just as important as any other.”
The minister’s comments follows a report by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) which revealed that by the second week of July, the country had recorded 17,000 excess natural deaths. Excess deaths are over and above the expected number of deaths.
“It must not sound like we are saying we only treat Covid-19. We are treating everything. We would like you to continue to use our hospitals. They must not fear to visit our hospitals because of Covid-19,” said Mkhize.
The minister made the call during the second leg of his two-day visit to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to assess its state of readiness for the province’s impending surge in Covid-19 cases.
“I am quite comfortable that there is adequate provision for beds which we will need should the surge materialise in higher numbers. In this case we believe that there will be enough warning if the numbers are increasing so we that we can roll out some additional facilities,” he said.
With KZN set to overtake the Western Cape in a matter of weeks for the second in ranking of Covid-19 cases, Mkhize said the focus will turn to the province to ensure its readiness.
“We are expecting that the numbers will increase in KZN and we are going to be focusing quite strongly into the province just to make sure that any challenges can be acted upon.
“What we have learned in the past few months is that there is no perfect plan. You can put up a plan and when the epidemic hits, it changes your plan and you must be agile,” he said.